nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2008‒04‒21
five papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
University of the West Indies

  1. Choosing One’s Own Informal Institutions: On Hayek’s Critique of Keynes’s Immoralism By Berggren, Niclas
  2. Causal Depth: Aspects of a Scientific Realist Approach to Causal Explanation contra Humean Empiricism By Khan, Haider
  3. Political Entrepreneurship and Institutional Change: an Evolutionary Approach By Hederer, Christian
  4. The two sides of command in organizations: reading Marx again By Bruno Tinel
  5. Stylebook:Tips on Organization, Writing, and Formatting By Wicks, Rick

  1. By: Berggren, Niclas (The Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: In the main, Hayek favored rules that apply equally to all and located such rules in tradition, beyond conscious construction. This led Hayek to attack Keynes’s immoralism, i.e. the position that one should be free to choose how to lead one’s life irrespective of the informal institutions in place. However, it is argued here that immoralism may be compatible with Hayek’s enterprise since Hayek misinterpreted Keynes, who did not advo-cate the dissolving of all informal rules for everybody. By avoiding this misinterpretation, immoralism can be seen as institutional experimentation at the margin, which Hayek himself favored.
    Keywords: Institutions; rules; traditions; morality; liberty; rule of law
    JEL: B25 O17 P48 Z13
    Date: 2008–04–14
  2. By: Khan, Haider
    Abstract: The purpose of this note is to clarify how the idea of "causal depth" can play a role in finding the more "approximately true" explanation through causal comparisons. It is not an exhaustive treatment but rather focuses on a few aspects that may be the most critical in evaluating the explanatory strengths of a theory in the social sciences. It presents a general argument which is anti-Humean on the critical side and scientific realist on the positive side. It also elucidates how explanations in political economy and other social sciences can be judged by the scientific realist criterion of causal depth by an extensive example from research in the political economy of development. In this case, an "intentional" and methodologically individualist neoclassical explanation is contrasted with a "structural" dual-dual approach as rival theories purporting to explain the same set of phenomena.
    Keywords: Social Explanation; Causal Depth; Scientific Realism; Political Economy; Neoclassical Economics; Structuralism; Social Science Theories; Economic Models
    JEL: D02 D58 B00
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Hederer, Christian
    Abstract: The paper is a contribution to the theory of institutional change. Using a process-based, evolutionary framework, a comparative analysis of economic and political entrepreneurship is provided and implications are derived for the role of political entrepreneurship, and the element of agency in general, for the evolution of formal institutions and institutional innovation.
    Keywords: Institutional change; entrepreneurship; market process theory; evolutionary approach
    JEL: D70 B52 P48
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Bruno Tinel (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: In his chapter 13 of the Capital, Marx shows that cooperation involves coordination whatever the mode of production is. In his opinion, command in capitalist production has two sides: coordination and exploitation. The main features of command in a democratic organization of production are briefly drawn through this analysis.
    Keywords: democratic organization ; collective labourer ; command ; coordination ; cooperation ; subjection of labour
    Date: 2007–10
  5. By: Wicks, Rick (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Fifteen years of copy-editing experience – with theses (both in economics and in several medical fields), journal articles, book chapters and books, conference presentations, government reports, etc. – are distilled here. Papers are often sent to me for “language correction”, but what I usually find is that, far more than that, what they most need is major work on organization, writing, and formatting (including presentation of tables and figures). Even good writers can improve their writing by paying attention to the points herein, I believe. Of course digging deeply into issues of organization, writing, and even formatting improves readability (and thus the probability of being published, read, and cited), but it can also help to improve the quality of the thinking, i.e., the content of the paper. I first review the standard organization of most empirical papers in economics, with suggestions for improvement (including a brief discussion of some issues in reporting of statistical and econometric results). Then I discuss many points of good (and bad) writing (including sections on The Language of Economists and on Overused/Misused Words) as well as points of formatting (including many choices, where – even more than in writing – consistency is the most important rule). Throughout, some differences between Swedish and English practice are discussed, as well as some between American and British practice.<P>
    Keywords: Organization; writing; formatting; tables; figures; sections; headings; English; Swedish; British
    JEL: A10 A20 A30 C10 Y10 Y20
    Date: 2008–04–07

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